Morneau Shepell: Technology That Exceeds Expectations
Morneau Shepell works closely with organisations and individuals around the world, optmising and maximising the efficiency and effectiveness of the health and productivity of their people. Employees and colleagues all feel the benefits of the company’s extensive suite of innovative and entrepreneurial solutions.
The company’s technology, people, and processes, are all used to help organisations and businesses simplify the burden of administration, whilst also improving and increasing efficiency. Companies can also rely on Morneau Shepell’s solutions to receive industry-leading support for members.
With a holistic approach to the benefits of administration, retirement services, absence management, and employee assistance, Morneau Shepell delivers the necessary tools and expertise that are required to help organisations solve the ever-growing complexities and challenges they face.
By using the solutions provided by the company to overcome challenges and complexities, businesses and organisations can improve productivity and engagement, whilst also driving improved operations and processes in wellbeing and financial security.
As the leading provider of technology-enabled HR services, Morneau Shepell is making a difference by delivering an integrated approach to employee wellbeing. For more than 50 years, the company has provided plan administration services to a range of companies across almost every industry.
With both the public and private sectors covered, the company supports almost nine million members with its suite of administrative solutions. Morneau Shepell’s team, built up of industry professionals, IT specialists, and more, have years of expertise in their fields. The team of trusted advisors help to deliver flexible, integrated solutions and benefits to pension administration solutions, employee and family assistance, health and wellness prgorams, and recognition and workplace learning solutions.
Speaking about its strategic partnership with Morneau Shepell to Business Chief North America, OTIP’s Executive VP Stacey Rous said “Morneau Shepell has been partnering with us for over six years. They have helped OTIP through a digital transformation process by streamlining our benefits administration solution. The value of offering a single system to our members that simplifies the administration process and delivers the services that participants want and need has enhanced the experience for both administrators and plan participants.”
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.